I was married quite young (according to this generation standards) and was expecting my first child within 2 months of my marriage. I had an arranged marriage but by God’s grace and our own simplicity and compatibility me and my husband gelled like “old friends” from day 1. So, expecting our first child so early on was not an issue, rather we both were elated. We both went to office early in the morning, traveled by local train and bus to reach our respective offices. Since we stay nuclear, it was only the two of us. My new young husband didn’t draw a huge salary, we traveled by public transport, I ate in the canteen during lunchtime, still that was one of the best phases of my life. The phase where we were transitioning from newly weds to new parents within a span of few months. We both were and still are an impulsive couple who don’t think or dwell much. We were young, not much of planners, didn’t have a lot of money, but did share loads of happiness together. The visit to the doctor, my husband holding my hand instinctively when climbing over-bridge or even walking, feeding me lovingly, when I wouldn’t feel eating after the whole day, giving me my prenatal medicines on time were the small gestures that kept me happy.
This was 14 years back when Internet was not much prevalent, Smartphones didn’t exist, there weren’t so many Indian parenting forums like today. But we both read books, browsed through Babycenter, talked to the gynecologist a lot, and most importantly weren’t paranoid. We took pregnancy and parenthood as happily and easily as we took to our married life. But again, due to lack of support system and my naivety I would often worry whether I would be able to handle our baby well, whether I would become a good mother. My husband also confidently told me that we would make better parents than our own parents. I would tell him that they are more experienced and he would always say parenting is a hands-on thing which each parent experiences and handles differently.
I had a smooth pregnancy but in the last month due to high blood pressure had our son 15 days earlier as I had to undergo emergent C-section. My husband was there with me all the time. He was the one who washed our son’s meconium-stained nappies, he was the one who held him first, he was the first one who made him wear diaper. He would feed him patiently top milk with spoon during first 2 days when I wasn’t in a position to feed.
We celebrated our first anniversary apart as he couldn’t come to my parents’ place due to work commitments. We both had cried that day over landline phone. Once my son turned 2 months old, I came back to Mumbai and since that day that “confident father” has always been my rock-solid support, raising our 2 kids.
I have always believed that money, good food, medicines are important during pregnancy but most important is the husband’s love and support. It is the key to a healthy and happy pregnancy and motherhood.